Saturday, June 25, 2016

Local Saturday - Adventures with Garlic Scapes

Today, the long-awaited indoor year round farmers market finally opened in Binghamton, New York.  We celebrated with garlic scapes.

What are garlic scapes?  Before I tell you, a little about the new market.

Our regional indoor farmers market was years in the planning.  Its original location probably would have forced the closing of the community garden we've gardened in for years.  But, due to the intervention of some long-dead Native Americans, whose relics were found when they started to dig the foundations, another home had to be found.  And it was found, but the find delayed construction a couple of years.

Residents poured in today for the grand opening.

Some beautiful produce awaited them.  In season for us right now are lettuce, kale, swiss chard, and collard greens, along with the garlic scapes, young onions, and strawberries.

So, what are garlic scapes?  They are the flower bud of the garlic plant.  They should be taken off the plant to encourage the developing bulb to develop, rather than diverting energy into flowering and seed making.

In recent years, only gardeners knew the secret of garlic scapes.  Now, they are "in". Many people have learned just how delicious they are.  So farmers markets in our area are full of garlic scapes for sale in mid and late June. 

We have problems growing garlic at our house due to lack of sun, but we can always get a small handful of scapes each June.

You have to harvest them quickly.  Otherwise, they get too woody.

How can they be used? The uses are unlimited: basically, you prepare them by snipping off the touch end (as you would asparagus).  They can be made into pesto, used in hummus instead of garlic, and in double garlic soup.  

Their flavor is delicate compared to garlic bulbs, so you must adjust recipes accordingly.

Nutrition?  Quite nutritious.

Spouse plans to grill our scapes tonight, with the ribs he is also making.

Do you eat garlic scapes?  Do you have a favorite recipe?

11 comments:

  1. I'll tell you how I love the farmer markets, and I haven't been to ours, this season.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Too bad. I barely got to ours last year, due to circumstances.

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  2. I've never seen garlic scapes, and they're actually pretty.
    Interesting, CA grows lots of garlic. I didn't know it was also a big thing on the other side of the country.
    Mmm, grilled scapes and ribs! Kindly forward your address. Smiles.

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    1. Come to think of it, I wonder what the commercial garlic farmers do with their scapes. I never quite thought of it. Maybe it's not anything they can sell on a large scale.

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  3. How fascinating. I guess I missed it but I'm curious where you live. I'd LOVE to go to a market like this. And I never heard of garlic scrapes. Oh, the aroma that they must give off. Heavenly!

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  4. We grew garlic one year, but I didn't know about scapes. I love garlic, so I just might try growing some again.... Thanks!

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  5. I have never heard of this before... but then I am still quite ignorant when it comes to growing vegetables. I love going to farmer's market though :D

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  6. I had never heard of garlic scapes.

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  7. I love farmer's markets! And I learned something new about garlic today.

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  8. I threw some garlic in the garden a few years ago to keep the animals away. Never knew about the scapes. I'm going to go out and cut one and try it. I do grow garlic chives.

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  9. I think I have seem them. Looking like spring onions, they always confuse me :)
    How much I would love to get my hand on such fresh produce.

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